Is this a case of reverse psychology or is it just a bigoted school superintendent? WAFF reports that Superintendent Hugh Taylor, who identifies as a Christian and a Republican (this is code for “bigot;” can’t you see the bright neon sign?), has pulled the plug on a history club’s plans to see the new movie Selma.
Taylor, who is the superintendent of DeKalb County, Alabama, said that the film “puts teachers in the role of parents.” He added that the movie had “too much obscene and racial profanity.” Taylor also feels that it raises a number of uncomfortable questions . . . like what to do if a student gets offended and leaves the theater.
It’s been over a decade since I was in high school. I refuse to believe that we’ve forgotten how to orchestrate field trips in that time.
So what he appears to be arguing is this:
For Reverend James Sutton, the Civil Rights era isn’t a chapter in a history book. Sutton lived the era; in 1965, he was 20 years old. Sutton told WAFF that “They did not want me to come down and visit because of the violence and the racial problems that they were having at the time.”
His daughter was part of the history club that Taylor said couldn’t see the movie, “due to the level of profanity.”
Sutton doesn’t think it’s just about the profanity: “It raises my curiosity as to whether something that they are not wanting exposed or the children not to know about.” Regardless, Sutton wishes that the Superintendent would reconsider the ban:
I believe it would make a world of difference in the lives of the students, both black and white as well, to know of these things and what has taken place in years past.
Surely Taylor isn’t so naive that he doesn’t think this “racial profanity” isn’t freely flung around. He lives in freakin’ Alabama. From one white man to another, Taylor, this is your heritage as much as it is mine. We might wince and look aside, but it does nobody any good to try and deny that it happened, or to look the other way and object to the actual history.
We may mock programs like ACE for whitewashing history, but the history presented in schools is overly-sanitized, too. And Superintendent Taylor is acting as an example of how that happens.
h/t Samuel Ward